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Spy satellite launch set for Central Coast

A November 2020 SpaceX launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Landing of rocket booster expected to create sonic booms heard throughout region.

The countdown is on for a rocket launch from the Central Coast intended to put a spy satellite into orbit. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base Wednesday afternoon.

If weather conditions permit, the 12:18 p.m. launch may be visible throughout much of the region. Plans call for landing the mission’s reusable booster back at Vandenberg Air Force Base. It’s expected that will generate two sonic booms which will be heard throughout the region.

The National Reconnaissance Office hasn’t released details on the NROL-87 mission. It released a statement saying the rocket will carry a national security payload designed, built, and operated by the agency.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.